A quick look at the most hated guitar in the shop right now.
I have sanded the finish off this POS 3 times already.
For the record Nitro is the only way to consistently finish cocobolo. I don't know why I tried something different or experiment. The Behlens Teak oil looked like a million dollars on the Sapele but on the cocobolo it was very dull in the springwood and super shiny in the summerwood. My fix was to scuff and use a few light coats of Poly over top of it. Well the poly peeled up on the springwood (softer sections). Stuck like mad to the Sapele. Mad at myself for trying something so silly I sanded the whole guitar back.
My next plan was shellac. I don't use shellac much at all. Now I know that I won't moving forward. What a sticky nasty mess. Once I had a coat of shellac on it I hit it with more Poly. It looked like arse. So I left it to dry. Sanded it all back off and decided this guitar will be for experimenting with finishes.
I have always wanted to try brushing lacquer on as a finish method. I took some Behlens and a sponge brush and brushed away. It dried so fast the lines did not flow out. To be expected I guess. So I added some retarder (not thinner but retarder to slow the drying process) and tried again. By the time I got enough retarder so it would flow out it was so thin it might take a year to build. I let it cure brush marks and all.
The next day I sanded out the brush marks and was mildly surprised at where the finish was. I am pretty sure with the right brush, retarder, and some patience you could brush on lacquer and get a good finish.
Patience is not my virtue.
Finally I decided I had enough. Grabbed the spray gun and shot 3 coats over the mess. It worked. Looks like a million dollars. I hate finishing but if I have to finish with something other than oil it will be Nitro.
I should know better....